Minuteman Press Franchise Review: What to Do When You Get Laid Off

It is possible to move forward and turn a ‘curse’ into a ‘blessing’

"While getting laid off and thrust into unemployment is up there with the roughest of life’s challenges, the silver lining of opportunity is the chance to take command of your career trajectory." Read more at The Minuteman Press Franchise Review - http://www.shop.minutemanpress.com/franchise/news/print-franchise-news

Like any other major loss, a layoff frequently comes without warning and it can be one of life’s most traumatic experiences financially and emotionally. In the U.S. this year alone, U.S. employers have laid off approximately 493,000 employees thus far.  That is 36% greater over the same period last year (Jan. 1 – Sept. 30) and 2% more than the 2014 total. If you are among those forced to deal with the emotional turmoil of a corporate layoff, for instance, do not feel that the situation is one in which you have no control. On the contrary, thrust upon you is the opportunity to get your financial life in better order, and financial experts say NOW is the time to review spending, saving, how the bills are paid, creditors and issues related to health insurance.  That’s a lot to manage but it is a valuable “call to action” that can mark the beginning of an entirely new, potentially greater professional future down the road.

Fear not – budgeting with priorities first

Creating a spreadsheet that details your income and expenses has potential to calm some of the disturbing emotions caused by the layoff.  Having a snapshot of your monetary situation can be a foundation for action.  Listing all inflows of cash, including severance and unemployment along with whatever savings and investments that may be there now that it’s a “rainy day” – and do not forget credit cards (low-interest preferred) and home equity lines of credit.  THEN, turn your focus to expenses, noting first those fixed expenses that won’t change immediately like car payments and mortgage.  Take a peek at the variable expenses, ones over which you are in command like movies, eating out and gym club memberships.  From there, create a survival budget, one that may not be as fun without theatre trips and restaurants, but one that will strengthen immediate survival capabilities and once enacted will relieve a lot of stress.

What now?  Exit gracefully and get your name out there

Bruno Taillefer, owner of Minuteman Press in Duluth, GA, urges those on the heels of a corporate layoff to resist the tendency to reel back with shock and instead get right back into the game.  As he says, “You must network and promote yourself after a layoff. You cannot sit back and wait.  Go to job fairs and get in front of people to find new business opportunities.  Your new job is to get a job and it is full time.  Get up in the morning and set a time to walk out the door to go out there and prospect, setting appointments and looking for opportunities every day.”   Keep in mind, even though you were laid off, your former co-workers can still be allies in the form of networking contacts.  They will likely be eager to help you and more than happy to introduce you to influential people within your field. For this reason, send a brief goodbye email or hand-written note to co-workers and leave them with the impression that you are still quite capable and grateful for your time there.  Your reputation will be strengthened and your networking will start to flourish.  Also, before you go and with permission, collect samples of your best work, keeping sensitive financials out of the selection, of course.  If you are really good, prospective employers will be impressed by something outstanding that illustrates your talent.

“You must network and promote yourself after a layoff. You cannot sit back and wait.” Bruno Taillefer, Minuteman Press franchise owner in Duluth, GA

“You must network and promote yourself after a layoff. You cannot sit back and wait.” Bruno Taillefer, Minuteman Press franchise owner in Duluth, GA


Opportunity CAN rise from the professional “ashes”- post-layoff 

The time immediately following a layoff is ideal for a critical reassessment of exactly how your former position “lit you up inside” or of equal importance, realizing it did not.  Are there elements that you did live and skills you know you wish to hone further?  This is the time to recalibrate your professional course and be extremely picky about how you intend to venture forward.  Use this time to reflect and decide what it is that you really want and zero-in on precisely which direction your energy needs to be channeled in terms of a new career.  Do NOT get discouraged while on the hunt for a new job.  One-step-at-a-time is a typical saying for a good reason.  If you create smaller goals, like contacting two new people daily and applying for two new jobs each day, you will collect a series of accomplishments that will eventually pay off as new opportunities reveal themselves. 

Joe Brenneis endured the trials of a corporate layoff, back in 2001.  As he has been in the printing industry for 39 years, he said he has “always been a printer”.  During the summer of 2001, on the heels of a major surgery, Joe returned to his job as a pressroom supervisor, intending to take on his normal routine once again.  The day wound up ending with a life-changing phone call.  Joe explains, “I was laid off in 2001, during the summer and I was recuperating from back surgery when it happened. I completed my first day back on the job and returned home only to receive the call from my supervisor that I had been let go.  I had no idea I was getting laid off.  There were rumors, but no way did I anticipate that.  I was simply coming back to work and the first day after surgery I got the call from the big boss that I was laid off.  Things were a little slow, but I didn’t see it coming.

Joe faces emotional and practical challenges

This was the first time in my life I was ever laid off. I always made moves when I wanted to make a move, but this was actually being let go so I was not the one making the choice.  I had two kids and one ready to go into college and I can say $400 a week unemployment doesn’t go very far.  I was out of work for a little over a year until my last extension ran out.  I was overqualified and couldn’t “buy a job” running a press and physically I was limited due to the back surgery.  After an exhaustive experience of making ends meet, a buddy selling windows and siding took me on for about a year and a half, but I was making less than half of what I earned previously as a pressroom supervisor.  It was rough.

New horizons for Joe and his business partner Greg

Greg and I always stayed in contact.  My former company laid me off but Greg stayed on until the company was sold off. Still, we stayed in touch and always talked about possibly opening up our own printing center.  After the company we worked for was sold, Greg stayed with the new company but had to take a big pay cut. That’s when we decided to make our move. A friend that worked for Greg, Ron Burlakoff, bought the East Haven, CT Minuteman Press franchise and did very well.  Plus, we saw the future of digital printing coming on strong. We weighed pros and cons of going independent vs. franchise opportunities and conducted a Minuteman Press review. 

We asked ourselves, What would be better, “Greg and Joe’s” or Minuteman Press? We knew the name recognition combined with Minuteman’s system, plus the fact that we knew the printing industry all meant that a digital print, design and marketing franchise opportunity like this was a better way to go. And we were right! I received a call from Regional Vice-President, Jim Galasso one day and he said, “If you want to make a move on the Norwalk store, do it now.”  We bought a low-volume shop from an owner who was not following the system and we were able to turn it around very quickly.”

Joe is sure he would never return to work for someone else and his victory when faced with a traumatic corporate layoff is one that evokes hope, inspiration and a general sense that things, indeed, happen for a reason – in this case, to merge a man with his passion for the printing industry with the perfect franchising opportunity.  He and his business partner took command within the business services industry and, fortified by Minuteman Press International, they are subject no longer to the whims of the volatile job market.

While getting laid off and thrust into unemployment is up there with the roughest of life’s challenges, the silver lining of opportunity is the chance to take command of your career trajectory.  Leaving your former employer with grace and moving on with determination, patience and a refusal to settle, you WILL find another position, or perhaps, like Joe Brenneis, something even greater than ever before.

Joe Brenneis and Greg Duffey’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 167 Main Street in Norwalk, CT. You can reach them at (203) 838-2795 or visit their website at http://www.norwalk.minutemanpress.com.

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